Note: This opinion piece may include major spoilers (based on trailers and online rumors/conjecture) to Batman v Superman.
“This may be the only thing I do that matters.”
For whatever reason, this line struck a chord with me upon hearing it in one of the TV spots that aired recently on Spike. It got my mind working that the Bruce Wayne in the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will be something different than we’ve seen before. This Bruce Wayne could be more introspective not questioning the need for a Batman but instead a man who has spent his life living in the shadows, taking out Gotham City scum, seeing a friend/ward/sidekick beaten and killed by a psychotic serial killer clown and leading to it all, the murder of his parents right in front of his eyes.
Not only does the killing lead him to create Batman but a bit of his soul turns black. Murder of his sidekick. Darker. And even darker serving as Gotham’s trash collector. The cumulative effect is a man who only sees the bad side of Superman who, in fairness, did lead Zod to Earth, caused the deaths of thousands and billions of dollars in damages. Shown through Bruce’s prism, his reaction is understandable but plot-wise, it is simplistic enough for audiences to wrap their minds with yet underlined is not only a valid reason but a why going beyond the destruction.
Superman shouldn’t be pushed to the wayside either. I’m sure at first he might not quite understand or at least embrace the idea that there are some who don’t trust him in spite of the good deeds he does. Batman is the face/mask to those fears but it might not be until he comes face to face with Doomsday — rumored to comprised of Zod’s Kryptonian DNA — that he truly understands. He could see in the monster a personification of what could happen if he’s corrupted or is under the control of someone nefarious and how he will be a danger as his powers are used to destroy. There he could see through Batman’s eyes and find someone he can align with and keep him in check. Before doing so, I can see Superman finding some kind of commonality with the Dark Knight as both have personal losses in their lives.
Mixed in between the Son of Krypton and the Bat of Gotham is a certain Amazonian Warrior who will get them to see what they have in common and bring them together and ultimately the formulation of the Justice League, a group who will mend Bruce’s darkened soul and perhaps bring a new sense of purpose with like-minded individuals, though the paths they choose will bring some interesting and much needed conflict to the League.
Of course, in the end I might’ve put more thought into Batman and Superman’s character arcs and it is simply a man who hates Superman being too powerful and Superman not liking Batman for his vigilante and violent behavior. I certainly hope not but regardless, I’m hyped to finally see three iconic characters on screen together and a launching point for Justice League and the larger DC Extended Universe.